The Upper-Body Strength Workout: Bye-Bye Bat Wings
When you wave to someone, does your upper arm keep moving long after you’ve said goodbye? Can you reach under your arm and pinch more than an inch? If so, you’re suffering from a condition sometimes known as “bat wings.”
Fortunately, doughy upper arms are easily cured with upper-body strength training. If you’ve got a set of flappers, you’ve got more fat than muscle surrounding your upper arms. Fat jiggles. Muscle stays put. The solution is pretty obvious—you’ve got to use cardio and strength training to burn the fat from your arms (and all over your body), while using upper-body resistance exercises to build up a set of sleek, sexy triceps and biceps to take the fat’s place.
What Not to Fear
Some women worry about the idea of creating visible biceps and triceps because they think they’ll look masculine. Forget about it! Unless you take steroids and curl 40-pound dumbbells for hours on end, you will not get arms like Helga the World Champion Arm Wrestler. You will not resemble a female body builder or one of those she-males on American Gladiators. What you will achieve is a firm, toned arm with a little definition and no bat wings! You’ll get that hot-mama look in your tank top this summer and be proud to wear a sleeveless dress.
Mothers of young children tend to be stronger than moms with older kids or women without children. It’s because mamas are constantly picking up and carrying a child who started out as a seven-pound baby and quickly grew into a 30-pound toddler. Moms can scoop up a squirmy munchkin in one arm and lug an infant in a bucket car seat in the other, all while packing a heavy diaper bag across one shoulder. Moms can pull two young kids up a hill in a metal wagon. Moms can push a preschooler in a stroller while wearing an infant in a front carrier. Do you get the picture? Mamas are freakishly strong, so don’t be a weenie when you work your upper body. You can handle a strong workout. In fact, you need a strong workout to keep acting like a pack mule for your kids!
The Upper-Body Strength Workout
Perform one to two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions per exercise, three days a week:
- Biceps curls
- Triceps kick backs
- Upward rows
- Front raises
- Wood chops
- Lat pull-downs (front and back)
- Chest fly
- Chest press
Please consult with your physician or healthcare provider before embarking on a new diet or exercise program. Nothing contained on this site should be considered as, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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